When the thermometer registers below zero fahrenheit, you can’t help but make a slow-cooker recipe like this Pork and Pablono Pepper Stew. It’s not exactly Weight Watchers material, but when served with brown rice, it’s about the healthiest thing I can conjure up on a frigid day.
I mean, for god sakes, what is going on? I turn 40 and suddenly the east coast is hit by like 5 snow storms in a 3 1/2 week period and now a polar vortex. All I want to do (and basically did do all weekend) is sit on my couch, sipping red wine or a dark and stormy (thanks Max!), eating things like braised oxtail served with wild mushroom risotto (sat), skillet burgers with gouda, garlic and green onions (sun), chocolate cake from an amazing French bakery (sat), leftovers and bacon (sunday morning), more chocolate (monday night). There were brief moments where a simple kale salad and roasted broccoli were consumed, but only because I love them on their own, and they made me feel like I wasn’t being a complete and utter glutton. But I was.
I vow to start a diet soon. Like next week on Monday. Just you see. I’ll turn this giant boat around. There will be no carbs or fattening cheese. Wine and alcohol will be kept to a bare minimum. Bare minimum. And by my half birthday I will finally rise up and proclaim that I have officially lost the baby weight after all these years and that I am back to somewhere between a size 4 and 6 like I was in my twenties and early 30s before the two kiddos. I can see it now. Balding hunk of a hubby if you are reading this, you best make some great summer plan for a weekend away because we will be doing some celebrating.
But alas, it’s just a Tuesday night after a long weekend where gluttony reigned. Valentine’s day was spent with friends with kids who would chose not to go out and overpay for food and beverages and a sitter and instead showed up at our place. And there wasn’t a lot to do with the kids the rest of the weekend besides see a movie or drive around in the car checking out nostalgic places because it is so frickin cold out there!
Oh, and there was plenty of time to make something in the slow cooker.
So this recipe is a pure original and takes inspiration from a variety of Mexican pork stews. I made it up on Friday night and tried it stovetop with only an hour of simmer. The flavors were unbelievable, but the pork needed more time. So Monday was the day where I had the time to think ahead and hit Whole Foods early in the day for the pork stew meat and the poblano and jalepeno peppers and garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes. I doubled the amount of meat I used on Friday night figuring a reheatable stew would be a good thing to have around during the work week. I threw the meat and peppers in a pot with onion, garlic and a bunch of funky seasoning and a little white wine (there seemed to be ample open bottles in my house this weekend). And let it simmer for hours in the slow cooker. And then towards the end I threw in some baby kale and made an arugula salad and some brown rice. The stew was topped with some sour cream and cilantro.
One final comment: I think the spices get a little more muted when you cook it longer in the slow-cooker so be generous if you like spicy. The below recipe is for milder tastes.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs pork stew meat (e.g., pork shoulder), cubed in 1 inch pieces
- 4 poblano peppers, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp ancho chili pepper (plus 1-2 tsp more if desired)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp aleppo pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 cans of 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
- 4 oz baby kale
- Brown Rice
- Sour cream
- Chopped cilantro
- Brown the pork stew meat in olive oil and all sides in batches in a slow cooker with saute function or a large saute pan. Do not crowd the meat. Remove from pan.
- Add peppers and onion and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and jalapeño and saute for 1 minute more
- Add next five spices and saute for another minute so that the spices are evening distributed.
- Deglaze pan with wine until wine is reduced to almost no liquid (a few minutes).
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock and chickpeas and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer to a slow cooker. Cook three hours on high. 6 on low.
- Add kale and cook for 10 minutes more.
- Serve over brown rice with sour cream and chopped cilantro